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9 Reasons Why Cell Phone Signals Suddenly Go Bad

9 Reasons Why Cell Phone Signals Suddenly Go Bad

Written by Wilson Amplifiers
19th Feb 2021

What Causes Bad Cell Phone Signal?

You’re sitting on your living room couch, walking in your neighborhood, or sitting in your car waiting for your kids to get out of school. You’re texting or chatting on your mobile phone, when suddenly your call drops off or your conversation disappears.

Poor signal again? You're not alone. Nearly 75% of Americans occasionally drop calls and suffer from slow download speeds. The question is, why are you always getting weak signal and low bars?

See complete cell signal booster kits for your situation:

Home / Small Office
Car / Truck / RV / Boat
Commercial Building

You think to yourself, “I’ve got to change carriers.” Not so fast! Chances are your carrier is not at fault (well, not always).


1. Heavy Cellular Traffic

Take a look at all the other parents sitting in their cars in front of the school, or all those other people caught in rush hour traffic. Chances are, most if not all are doing the same thing you are: texting or talking on their phones.

All those signals are fighting for space on the nearest cell phone tower. Once your phone has linked to a tower, you are unlikely to lose your call, but the more phone traffic that fights for a spot, the weaker your signal can become.

If your call is transferred to a tower that’s already full, your call could be dropped.


2. Building Materials: What Building Materials Block Cell Phone Signal?

The building material of your house, car, place of work, or run-of-the-mill shopping mall is the number one culprit for weaker signal in America. Metal and new-fangled tinted, low-E glass are the two materials most responsible.

If you routinely notice service fading in and out as you walk around your home, or if your signal improves when you stand near a window or door, it’s likely your signal is being blocked by metal construction material.

Read more on the materials responsible here.


3. Low Battery: Does Low or Faulty Cell Battery Affect Cell Reception?

If you’ve been putting off charging your phone battery, you may find yourself with a weak signal when you need it most. Your phone needs energy to maintain a connection with a cell tower, and it may struggle when its battery is low.


4. Does Weather Affect Cell Service?

Cell phones transmit and receive electromagnetic waves, which can be affected directly by weather phenomenon such as humidity, heavy cloud cover, thunder, lightning, wind, rain, snow and ice.


5. Blocking Your Own Antenna

Close your eyes and picture the early days of mobile phones. Sure, they were as big as shoe boxes, but they also had exterior antennas. The phones were heavy and unwieldy, but their signal was pretty consistent. That’s partly because of those exterior antennas. Today’s phones have antennas embedded inside the phone. If you’re not careful how you’re holding the phone, you can block the antenna, and lose your signal. Where exactly your embedded antenna is depends on you phone model, but a little bit of searching, and you should be able to find it. Now that you know where it is, you should have no trouble avoiding this issue.


6. Mother Nature: Do Trees Affect Cell Phone Reception?

Did you just walk into a grove of trees? The leaf canopy can block some cell signals and cause your call to fade or drop altogether. If your home is surrounded by large, coniferous trees, these can be causing a massive drop in your cellular reception.

You might also wonder if snow affects cell phone reception - it can. Just like other weather, snow can adversely affect cell coverage.


7. Hills and Valleys: Why is Cell Service Bad on Hills and Valleys?

Geographic features are a common reason for cell signal obstruction. If you live on one side of a mountain, and the only cell tower in your area is on the other, you’re not likely to get good reception.


8. Cosmic Events: Solar Flares and Cell Service

Eruptions on the surface of the sun send plumes of gas into the atmosphere, and have been known to disrupt mobile phone communications. These so-called solar flares produce shock waves that travel through space.

They can disrupt the signals sent to and from a satellite, and produce changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. Obviously, this does not bode well for your cellular signal.


9. Cell Tower Distance

This is a no-brainer. The farther away you are from a cell tower, the weaker the signal gets, which leads to the "fish tank" voice and the constant say-and-repeat moments. Oh, and the dreaded one bar of service.


Miscellaneous Concerns

Can a Cell Phone Case affect Signal?

It can, but only if you've got a real thick one, or one badly designed enough to fit over the location of your antenna. It can also cover your antenna if you have a case designed for a different smartphone model.

Do Magnets Affect Signal?

Electromagnetic fields can cause signal interference, but unless you're walking around with a magnet in your pocket, you're not likely experiencing much of that.

Does Weak Signal Drain My Battery?

Yes - your phone has to work significantly harder to communicate to and from your cell tower with weaker signal, resulting in significantly shorter battery life.

Dead Spots

Certain areas are just not covered by specific service providers. These are called dead spots, or dead zones.

To find out if you live or spend a lot of time in one of these dead spots, simply put in your address or zip code for your carrier:

AT&T's Cell Tower Map

  • Can search for domestic or international coverage.
  • Zoom up to sixteen times magnification.
  • Map data can be filtered by voice, data, or prepaid coverage.
  • Locations are searchable by address, postal code, country, or landmark.

Verizon's Cell Tower Map

  • Locations are searchable by address, city, or postal code.
  • Has interactive map
  • Zoom up to six times magnification

T-Mobile's Cell Tower Map

  • Can show region and route data for up to five addresses.
  • Zoom up to eleven times magnification.
  • Locations are searchable by address.

Sprint's Cell Tower Map

  • Data can be filtered by voice or data coverage.
  • Zoom up to twelve times magnification.
  • Locations are searchable by address.

These dead zones occur whenever there is any kind of obstruction between the user and the cell phone tower or a lack of towers in general.


How Can I Boost My Poor Cell Phone Signal?

A cell phone signal booster increases your weak signal up to 32 times, whether at home, in your car, or in a public place such as an office building.

It works by pulling in weak signal, amplifying it multiple times, then rebroadcasts the boosted signal to an area in need.

The results? Improved carrier service. Faster internet. Better talk & text.

Here are all the features and benefits of using a cell phone booster:

  • Works for all cell phones & cellular devices.
  • Carrier-proof: Works for all carriers in USA & Canada.
  • One-time purchase, no monthly fees.
  • No need for WiFi or any broadband connection.

Below are the top signal booster models for increasing your phone's signal and service at home, your office, or your vehicle.


How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Reception at Home

The Best Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home

weboost home multiroom
weBoost Home MultiRoom - 470144

For midsize homes with a strong outside signal or small homes with poor outside signal.

Buy Now at $549.99

weBoost Home MultiRoom Overview:

  • 5G ready booster. Amplifies 4G LTE and 3G signals
  • Up to 5,000 sq. ft. of coverage under best conditions
  • Up to +65 dB of gain, with 21 dBm uplink and 12 dBm downlink
  • Multiple accessories for maximum coverage and customization (sold separately)
  • Complete coverage for multiple rooms or midsize home for all carriers across multiple devices
  • Outdoor yagi antenna and indoor panel antenna configuration, with stylish fabric front

The weBoost Home MultiRoom is designed to cover several rooms, an entire floor, or a whole midsize, one-story home with boosted cellular signal. It bypasses most of the reasons cell phone signals go bad by bringing the existing outdoor signal inside via antennas and cables, boosting the signal, and rebroadcasting it within a defined space.

As its name suggests, you can expect multiple rooms of coverage with the unit assuming decent outside signal. With flawless outside signal, you can expect up to 5,000 square feet of coverage, but in most situations you'll get around 2,000-3,000 square feet of indoor coverage. If you live in a rural area with very weak outdoor signal, expect significantly reduced coverage. In fact, if you’re in an area with next to no signal, this is the lowest grade home signal booster you should ever consider buying.

It features a nice, clean look, with a fabric indoor panel antenna that won't stand out amid your existing home decor.

The weBoost Home MultiRoom boosts signal for all major North American carriers. Should you ever change carrier, the weBoost Home MultiRoom will still work.

If you live in an extremely weak signal area, or have a really big house you want to cover, consider its sister product, the weBoost Home Complete.

The Most Powerful Cell Phone Signal Booster For Home

weboost home complete
weBoost Home Complete - 470145

For large homes and offices with a strong outside signal.

Buy Now at $999.99

weBoost Home Complete Overview:

  • Superior cell phone service for your entire home. 5G Ready
  • Up to 7,500 sq. ft. of coverage under best conditions
  • Up to +72 dB of gain, with 24 dBm uplink and 12 dBm downlink
  • Multiple accessories for maximum coverage and customization (sold separately)
  • Complete coverage for entire home for all carriers across multiple devices
  • Outdoor yagi antenna and indoor panel antenna, with stylish fabric front

The weBoost Home Complete is absolutely the most powerful consumer line booster you can get. With an additional +5 dB over the Home MultiRoom, it's roughly a shade over 3x more powerful.

Designed to provide whole-home coverage for a large home with strong outside signal or a midsize home with weak outside signal. It’s capable of covering areas up to 7,500 sq ft under perfect conditions. Most people will get between 4,000-6,000 sq ft of coverage due to signal interferences and their outside signal strength. If you live in an area with extremely weak signal, this is your best option for decent coverage - you’ll probably be getting 1,500-3,500 square feet from it.

To maximize your coverage, additional antennas are required, especially if you’re trying to cover more than one floor. Not to mention, it features an aesthetically pleasing design to fit in with your home décor.

If you want to take advantage of all the benefits the weBoost Home Complete offers but don’t want to worry about installing the cell phone signal booster yourself, consider the weBoost Home Complete. It’s the only consumer booster on the market that includes a professional installation. Note that the installation is only available for residential buildings.

weboost installed home complete
weBoost Installed Home Complete - 474445

Includes a professional installation.

Buy Now at $1,199.99

The Most Affordable Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home

weboost home studio
weBoost Home Studio - 470166

For small homes and office spaces for all carriers.

Buy Now at $349.99

weBoost Home Studio Overview:

  • 5G ready booster. Amplifies 4G LTE and 3G signals.
  • Up to 2,000 sq. ft of coverage under best conditions
  • Up to +60 dB of gain
  • Compact design, fits on any flat surface

The weBoost Home Studio is a nice affordable option if you’re on a budget and only need spot coverage.

Under perfect condition, meaning a strong outside signal and minimal cellular signal interference, the Home Studio can cover areas up to 2,000 sq ft, enough for a small home, office, apartment, dorm, or condo. The coverage area, however, is determined by how strong or weak your outside signal is. So, if you live in an area with weak outside signal, you’ll get around 200-500 sq ft - enough for 1-2 rooms. Extreme remote locations will receive much less coverage.

For those extreme cases, consider the weBoost Home MultiRoom or the weBoost Home Complete for extended coverage.

The Home Studio works with multiple cellular devices and amplifies cell signals across all major US carriers. A second version is also available, known as the weBoost Home Studio Lite.

weboost home studio lite
weBoost Home Studio Lite - 470165

For small homes and office spaces for AT&T AND Verizon.

Buy Now at $199.99

The Home Studio Lite ONLY amplifies AT&T and Verizon signals. If you ever decide to switch carriers, we guarantee that the Home Studio will continue to work. On the other hand, if you choose to go with the Home Studio Lite and later switch to a carrier that is not supported, you’ll have to get a different cell phone signal booster that will be compatible with said carrier.


How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Reception in Vehicles

The Best Cell Phone Signal Booster for Cars

weboost drive reach
weBoost Drive Reach - 470154

For rural and urban driving.

Buy Now at $499.99

weBoost Drive Reach Overview:

  • 5G ready. Better talk, text, and data speeds guaranteed
  • Up to +50 dB of gain - the max allowed for a mobile signal booster in North America
  • Highest uplink output of any vehicle booster
  • Works for all phones and all carriers
  • Sleek, metallic exterior designed to displace excess heat for peak performance
  • Custom bracket for under seat or in-truck mounting options
  • Extremely customizable: variants for any type of vehicle and setup.

The weBoost Drive Reach is the newest, most powerful vehicle booster from Wilson Electronics.

A slim outside antenna picks up the signals, and an indiscreet inside antenna (usually Velcroed to a seat) broadcasts the signal inside your vehicle. For optimal results, you have to be about an arm's length from the inside antenna to get the boosted signal, so it's best for your typical sedan, truck, or SUV, but will work with any vehicle.

This is the best booster no matter where you live. It can reach towers that are 2x further for twice the signal strength, making it much more powerful than its competitors and a strong performer in rural areas. Plus, it does a better job at handling more noise in urban environments than other vehicle signal boosters on the market.

Highly recommended for rural and urban driving.

The Most Affordable Cell Phone Signal Booster for Cars

weboost drive sleek
weBoost Drive Sleek - 470135

Best for urban and suburban driving.

Buy Now at $199.99

weBoost Drive Sleek Overview:

  • Amplifies talk, Text, and Data. 5G ready.
  • For a single smartphone
  • Cradle signal booster
  • Up to +23 dB gain
  • Works with all cellular devices across all carriers

The weBoost Drive Sleek is about price and performance for a single device.

The kit includes a magnet mount antenna that can be easily installed on the roof of any vehicle and an adjustable cradle vent mount designed to hold any size smartphone or small tablet. To benefit from the boosted signal, your cellular device has to be in the cradle. And when paired with a Bluetooth headset, it really shines for hands-free calling and navigation.

It’ll work best in urban and suburban areas but is not the strongest performer in extremely remote locations. For those extreme cases of poor cellular reception on the road, consider upgrading to the Drive Reach.


Cell Phone Signal Booster For Commercial Buildings

The Most Popular Commercial Cell Phone Singal Booster

wilsonpro 70 plus
WilsonPro 70 Plus - 463127

For large commercial and residential buildings with weak outside signal.

Buy Now at $1,199.99

weBoost WilsonPro 70 Plus Overview:

  • 5G ready booater. Boosts voice, text message, 3G & 4G LTE data
  • Commercial signal booster
  • Up to 25,000 sq. ft. of coverage under best conditions
  • Up to +70 dB Gain
  • Works with all cellular devices across all carriers
  • Expansion kits available to maximize coverage
  • Great for urban areas

The WilsonPro 70 Plus is the most popular commercial pro-grade cell phone signal booster designed to amplify cellular signals inside midsize commercial buildings. However, for people with large homes, or those who live in an extremely remote area where maintaining a reliable connection seems impossible, the WilsonPro 70 Plus should do the trick.

With gains up to +70 dB, it can cover up to 25,000 sq ft under best conditions. For the most part, it averages around 10,000 to 15,000 sq ft, depending on the configuration and outside signal. Areas with extremely poor outside signal combined with other factors, such as internal building material and building layout, could receive much less coverage.

It's the best option for midsize commercial buildings who don’t struggle with a reliable connection outside but experience spotty service throughout the building, as well as large homes and midsize companies located in remote areas where tower distance makes maintain a reliable connection extremely difficult.


How May We Help You?

Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 3G & 4G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.

We seriously hate dropped calls and poor coverage, so it's our goal in life to stomp out spotty signal and ensure you stay connected whenever you need it.

  • Free consultation (ask us anything) with our US-based customer support (sales@wilsonamplifiers.com) or call us at 1-800-568-2723.
  • Free shipping.
  • Better signal or industry-leading 90 money-back guarantee.
  • We want everyone to be satisfied, so we provide lifetime technical support and a 2-year warranty for all products.

Ask us anything and we'll be glad to help.

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